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Best lightweight travel backpack: 10 amazing choices + buying tips

Well, we don’t know if you’re bitten by the travel bug but our post will surely help you choose the best lightweight travel backpack for your journies anywhere around the world:

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

In a hurry? Here is an overview of the best light travel backpacks

Best lightweight backpack for travel

Best light travel backpack

Material Weight Capacity Price
Matein rolling backpack

Polyester

4.9 lb/2.2 kg

38 liters

$$$
Nodland lightweight hiking backpack

Nylon

0.85 lb/0.35 kg

40 liters

$
Teton Sports Oasis 1100

Nylon

2 lb/0.9 kg

18 liters

$
WATERFLY Sling Backpack 

Nylon

0.44 lb/0.20 kg

10 liters

$
Osprey Farpoint and Fairview 55

Nylon and packcloth

S/M: 52 liters

M/L: 55 liters

25 x 13 x 13 inches/65 x 32 x 32 cm (H*W*D)

$$$$
Qinol travel backpack

Nylon/Mesh/Sponge/Plastic (Zipper)

1.76 lb/0.79 kg

20 liters

$
Osprey Farpoint and Fairview 40

Ripstop nylon

XS/S: 3.1 lb/1.4 kg
S/M: 3.2 lb/1.45 kg

Farpoint S/M & Fairview XS/M: 38 liters

Farpoint M/L & Fairview S/M: 40 liters

$$$$
Outlander lightweight travel daypack

Ripstop nylon

0.47 lb/0.21 kg

20 or 33 liters

$
Zomake ultra lightweight hiking backpack

Nylon

0.49 lb/0.22 kg

20 liters

$
Bange multi-functional travel back pack

PVC (Front)/Oxford Cloth

3.44 lb/1.55 kg

22L that can be extended to 35L

23L extendable to 35L

26L extendable to 45L

$$

Overall best lightweight travel backpack

After extensive research that involved reading customer reviews and expert feedback, we consider the Matein rolling backpack as the best travel backpack.

It’s lightweight, waterproof, has wheels and a laptop compartment. It’s also the perfect carry-on luggage.

If you are looking for an even lighter one, the Nodland hiking backpack is a great alternative.

Best lightweight travel bag with wheels

Matein Rolling Backpack

Key Features

  • Material: Polyester
  • Type: Suitcase Backpack
  • Weight: 4.9 lb/2.2 kg
  • Size: Available for storing 15.6” and 17” laptops.
    • External Size (15.6”) – 19.6 x 13 x 9.1 inch/49.7 x 33 x 23 cm
    • External Size (17”) – 20.6 x 13 x 9.4 inch/52.3 x 49.7 x  23.8 cm
  • Capacity: 38 liters
  • Water-Resistance: Waterproof Padding and fabric
  • Multi-pocket design, lockable double zippers, main compartment with an elasticated belt, telescoping handle, back Velcro pocket, fully padded large laptop pocket, documents pocket, and small pockets on the inside.

Pros and cons

  • Large storage space
  • Bottom waterproof padding
  • Durable zippers
  • 2-in-1 wheel mechanism
  • Rolls smoothly
  • Easily twists while rolling
  • Single pull bar design restricts control

Conclusion

A great choice for vacation travel, weekend getaway, business trip, or an overnight trip, the Matein Rolling Backpack can truly be dubbed one of the best lightweight waterproof backpacks for travel.

The large compartments can hold a laptop, tablets, chargers, books, and much more while the durable exterior is designed to last long.

Check prices and availability:
Amazon

Best lightweight waterproof backpack

NODLAND 40L lightweight hiking backpack

Key Features

  • Material: Ripstop Nylon
  • Type: Foldable Daypack
  • Weight: 0.85 lb/0.35 kg
  • Size:
    • Unfolded Size: 13.4 x 8.7 x 17.3 inches /34 x 22 x 44 cm (L*W*H)
    • Folded Size: 7.5 x 3.1 x 8.3 inches/19 x 8 x 21 cm (L*W*H)
  • Capacity: 40 liters
  • Water-Resistance: Water-resistant fabric
  • 2 Side Pockets, Main compartment, Zipped front pocket, Laptop pocket, Inner zipped pocket, Reflective straps, Breathable mesh shoulder straps, Abrasion-resistant zippers, Reinforced bottom and back, Double-stitched tear points, and Adjustable chest strap.

Pros and cons

  • Provides enough permeability in light to medium rain
  • Water pipe and data cable hole available
  • Folds into a compact bag
  • Spacious compartments
  • Water pouch area
  • Shoulder straps aren’t too strong to easily bear 40L capacity in hiking conditions

Conclusion

Stylish and practical, the Nodland 40L Lightweight nylon travel backpack will be great for hitch-hikers, scouting enthusiasts, and every adventurist who loves the outdoor.

It has a water pouch compartment and strategically placed small pockets.

The waterproof fabric makes it ideal for wet climate hikes. It works equally well as a portable air travel backpack, and short travel backpack.

We’ll soon be writing a complete post on the best lightweight foldable hiking backpacks like this one.

Check prices and availability:
Amazon

TETON Sports Oasis 1100 2-Liter Hydration Pack Backpack

Key Features

  • Material – Shell: 200D Honeycomb Ripstop, 600D PU; Mesh (back panel)
  • Type: Hydration Pack Backpack
  • Weight: 2 lb/0.9 kg
  • Size: 19.5 x 12 x 2 inch/50 x 30 x 5 cm (L*W*H)
  • Capacity: 18 liters
  • Water-Resistance: Water resistant with a sewn-in rain cover
  • 2L hydration bladder, Kink-free sip tube, cushioned bite with cushion-lock, compression straps with mesh covering, sewn-in rain cover, air-mesh back panel, adjustable shoulder, chest, and waist straps, bungee cord for helmets, and large main pocket.

Pros and cons

  • Lightweight
  • Rain cover
  • Waterproof fabric
  • For men, women, and youth
  • Adjusts to fit all body frames
  • Size might not be comfortable for everyone
  • Harness adjustments are limited and may not be enough for everyone
  • Zipper quality isn’t too good

Conclusion

Being the best-selling product on most online seller platforms, it’s convincing that Teton Sports Oasis 1100 hydration backpack is among the most favored lightweight waterproof backpacks for hikers, cyclists, and anyone who likes outdoor activities.

You don’t need to buy a hydration pack separately when you are getting it for free with the Oasis 1100.

Check prices and availability:
Amazon

If you aren’t convinced of the above mentioned lightweight backpacks, have a look at these two for great alternatives.

Matein rolling backpack

Bange 32L travel backpack

Best small travel backpack

WATERFLY Sling Backpack

Key Features

  • Material: Nylon
  • Type: Sling Backpack
  • Weight: 0.44 lb/0.20 kg
  • Size: 18.5 x 12.2 x 5.1 inches/47 x 31 x 13 cm (L*W*H)
  • Capacity: 10 liters
  • Water-Resistance: Water-repellent coating
  • Main pocket for a tablet (9.7”), zippered gauze pocket at the base for umbrella, bottle pocket, 2 small pockets on the strap and back, inner separated pockets for cards and small stuff, hook for sunglasses on the shoulder strap, breathable mesh pad, anti-friction fabric, and an earphone hole.

Pros and cons

  • Multi-purpose function
  • For all ages
  • Great zipper quality
  • Left/right adjustment for shoulder strap
  • Comfortable for large-chested women and men
  • Small bottle holder
  • Shoulder strap might cause discomfort

Conclusion

Want comfort while traveling without the bulk? Well, the WATERFLY Sling Bag Crossbody Backpack would come in handy.

Small, ultra-lightweight, practical, and slick, it’s great for daily use, short hikes, and traveling.

Your daughter can use it as a Sherpa bag or a mini-park bag for picnics and short trips.

For every traveler, this is a great small travel camera backpack too.

Moreover, you can even go for the Zomake Ultra-Lightweight Travel Daypack which we think is equally good.

Check prices and availability:
Amazon

Best lightweight travel backpack with laptop compartment

Osprey Farpoint and Farview 55 Lightweight Travel Backpack

Key Features

  • Material:
    • Main: 210D Nylon Mini Hex Diamond Ripstop
    • Accent: 600D Packcloth
    • Bottom: 600D Packcloth
  • Type: Duffel/Carry On/Backpack
  • Weight:
    • S/M: 3.75 lb/1.69 kg
    • M/L: 3.92 lb/1.76 kg
  • Size: 25 x 13 x 13 inches/65 x 32 x 32 cm (H*W*D)
  • Capacity: S/M: 52 liters / M/L: 55 liters
  • Water-Resistance: Water resistant fabric (a rain cover can be bought seperately)
  • Large U-zip lockable main compartment, Detachable daypack with scratch-free stash pocket, and a laptop and tablet sleeve, Hipbelt with zippered rear flap, and a stowaway back panel.  

Pros and cons

  • Easy to pack
  • Detachable daypack
  • Excellent for air travel
  • Ample space in both duffel and daypack
  • Large frame makes the main pack not suitable as a carry-on
  • Mesh back panel may cause scuffing on the clothes

Conclusion

Talk of multi-purpose backpacks and you’ll come across the Osprey Farpoint 55 and Fairview 55, featuring a detachable daypack with a large laptop and tablet sleeve.

Many customers liked how quickly one can take out and put back a laptop from the daypack.

The waterproof shell along with a rain cover ensures enough permeability to keep your stuff dry.

A hybrid of Fairpoint 40 and Fairpoint 70, the Fairpoint 55 lightweight travel backpack is great for long weekend travels.

The Farpoint series is designed for men while the Fairview series is optimized for women.

Check prices and availability-men:

Amazon

REI

Check prices and availability-women:

Amazon

REI

QINOL Travel Laptop Backpack

Key Features

  • Material: Nylon/Mesh/Sponge/Plastic (Zipper)
  • Type: Laptop/Travel/School
  • Weight: 1.76 lb/0.79 kg
  • Size: 18.8 x 12.8 x 7.6  inches/47.7 x 32.5 x 19.3 cm (H*W*D)
  • Capacity: 20 liters
  • Water-Resistance: Water-repellent fabric
  • Duo-bag design with 2 pockets for laptop (17” and smaller) and iPad (15.5” and smaller), an inner shockproof belt, 2 elastic mesh pockets, open pocket for small stuff, a removable USB hub, foam-padded top handle, shoulder straps with breathable mesh design, and an anti-theft pocket zipper.

Pros and cons

  • Multi-pocket design aids large storage
  • USB charging hub
  • Breathable and comfortable padding
  • Water-repellent
  • Anti-theft pocket
  • Luggage strap for ease of carrying
  • Average shoulder strap quality
  • Internal pockets may rip if stuffed too much

Conclusion

If you’re a regular traveler, the QINOL lightweight travel backpack offers great space to keep valuables, equipment, and other necessary stuff.

You can safely and comfortably carry your phone and other valuable stuff, thanks to the anti-theft zipper in the back.

For on-the-go charging, there’s a USB hub while the laptop sleeve has a strap to keep your device safely tucked.

The waterproof nylon proves its worth when it rains but is not intended for long walks in heavy downpours.

Check prices and availability:
Amazon

If you aren’t convinced of this backpack, check out these great alternatives:

Best lightweight travel backpack carry on

Osprey Farpoint and Fairview 40 lightweight travel backpack

Key Features

  • Material:
    • Main: 210D Nylon Mini Hex Diamond Ripstop
    • Accent: 600D Packcloth
    • Bottom: 600D Packcloth
  • Type: Carry On/Duffel
  • Weight:
    • Farpoint S/M: 3.1 lb/1.4 kg
    • Farpoint M/L: 3.2 lb/1.45 kg
    • Fairview XS/M: 3.1 lb/1.4 kg
    • Fairview S/M: 3.2 lb/1.45 kg
  • Size:
    • Farpoint (men): 21 x 14 x 15 inches/54 x 35 x 37 cm (H*W*D)
    • Fairview (women): 21 x 14 x 9 inches/54 x 35 x 23 cm (H*W*D)
  • Capacity: Farpoint S/M & Fairview XS/M: 38 liters / Farpoint M/L & Fairview S/M: 40 liters
  • Water-Resistance: Water-resistant fabric
  • Large duffle style main pocket with lockable U-zip, padded sleeve for both laptop and tablet (For 15” laptops), Stowaway back panel, hip belt with zippered rear flap, a small scratch-free pocket for sunglasses, and 2 front mesh pockets for water bottles.

Pros and cons

  • Meets carry-on guidelines for air travel
  • Shoulder strap offers multiple carry options
  • Sturdy frame
  • Heavy packers won’t like it
  • Doesn’t come with a zip-off daypack

Conclusion

Being closer to the 22” mark, the Osprey Fairpoint 40 and Fairview 40 take over the Fairpoint 55 as it meets carry-on guidelines for air travel.

Budget travelers who like or need to carry their laptops with them will be comfortable using this pretty lightweight travel backpack.

The Farpoint series is designed for men while the Fairview series is optimized for women.

Check prices and availability-men:

Amazon

Rei

Check prices and availability-women:

Amazon

REI

If the above mentioned backpack isn’t what you’re looking, have a look at these great alternatives:

Best lightweight travel daypack

Outlander Packable Daypack

Key Features

  • Material: Ripstop nylon
  • Type: Daypack
  • Weight:
    • 20L: 0.46 lb/0.21 kg
    • 33L: 0.5 lb/0.23 kg
  • Size:
    • 20L:
      • Unfold: 16.92 x 10.63 x 7.08 inches/43 x 27 x 18 cm (H*W*D)
      • Fold: 6.29 x 5.90 x 1.97 inches/16 x 15 x 5 cm (H*W*D)
    • 33L
      • Unfold: 19 x 13 x 8.2 inches/48 x 33 x 21 cm (H*W*D)
      • Fold: 6.29 x 5.90 x 2 inches/16 x 15 x 5 cm (H*W*D)
  • Capacity: 20 or 33 liters
  • Water-Resistance: Water-resistant fabric
  • Bar tack reinforced stress points, 2-way abrasion-resistant SBS metal zippers, main compartment, 2 small front zippered pockets, internal zippered security pocket, and 2 water bottle and umbrella side pockets, and a free carabiner.

Pros and cons

  • Great for day hikes
  • Lighweight and sturdy
  • Weather-resistant
  • For all travel purposes
  • Folds easily into a small zippered inner pocket
  • Available in multiple colors
  • Water-resistant but not waterproof
  • Nylon pack feels a bit flimsy
  • Inner lining is not durable

Conclusion

Minimalist travel enthusiasts who are on a budget can surely go for the Outlander Ultra-Lightweight Daypack.

Waterproof and easy to pack, you get ample space to keep all your essentials for the day trip.

Just roll it up inside the inner pack and store it to save space in your luggage or the boot of your car.

Check prices and availability:
Amazon

Not convinced of the above mentioned backpack? Have a look at these other great alternatives:

Best lightweight nylon travel backpack

Zomake ultra-lightweight hiking backpack

Key Features

  • Material: Nylon
  • Type: Daypack
  • Weight: 0.49 lb/0.22 kg
  • Size:
    • Unfolded: 17.7 x 10.6 x 5.5 inches/45 x 27 x 14 cm (H*W*D)
    • Folded: 6.7 x 6.7/17 x 17 (H*W)
  • Capacity: 20 liters
  • Water-Resistance: Water-resistant fabric
  • Bar tack reinforced abrasion-resistant SBS metal zippers, strengthened stitching on 28 places, 1 front zipper pocket, internal zippered pocket, mesh side pockets, and reinforced shoulder straps.

Pros and cons

  • Great for minimalist women travelers
  • Packs easily into a sandwich-sized nylon pack
  • Water-resistant
  • Cost-effective
  • Airplane-friendly
  • Straps not durable enough for long term use

Conclusion

One of the most in-demand lightweight travel backpacks, the Zomako Ultra-Lightweight Backpack is specially designed for women.

With a 20L compartment, you will have enough space to pack everything for a short trip, weekend camping, or day hikes.

Going long-distance? You can fold it into the sandwich-sized nylon pack and keep it with you to store excess luggage.

Check prices and availability:
Amazon

Check out these alternatives if you aren’t convinced of the above mentioned backpack:

Best lightweight backpacks for international travel

Bange Business Trip Extension Pack Light Travel Backpack

Key Features

  • Material: PVC (Front)/Oxford Cloth
  • Type: Laptop/School/Travel
  • Weight: 3.44 lb/1.55 kg
  • Size:
    • 22-32L
      • Before Extended (22L): 17.5 x 11.8 x 5 inches/44 x 28 x 13 cm (H*W*D)
      • After Extending (32L): 17.5 x 11.8 x 9.5 inches/44 x 28 x 24 cm (H*W*D)
    • 23-35L
      • Before Extended (23L): 18.1 x 11.8 x 5.5 inches/46 x 30 x 14 cm (H*W*D)
      • After Extending (35L): 18.1 x 11.8 x 10.2 inches/46 x 30 x 26 cm (H*W*D)
    • 26-45L
      • Before Extended (26L): 19.5 x 13 x 6.8 inches/50 x 33 x 17 cm (H*W*D)
      • After Extending (45L): 19.5 x 13 x 11 inches/50 x 33 x 28 cm (H*W*D)
  • Capacity: 22L that can be extended to 35L / 23L extendable to 35L / 26L extendable to 45L
  • Water-Resistance: Waterproof fabric and inside waterproof pocket
  • Front zippered pocket, large main compartment, holds a 17”-19” laptop, 2 handles on top and 1 on the side, luggage belt on the back, padded batter back panel, Adjustable anti-slip chest belt with quick release on shoulder straps, explosion-proof zippers, and hip-side power pocket with integrated cable port.

Pros and cons

  • Expandable design
  • Padded and breathable back
  • Waterproof pocket for liquids
  • Thick straps and handles for more comfort
  • Flight approved
  • Waterproof exterior
  • Zipper quality isn’t as told
  • The bag is quite heavy

Conclusion

Bange has done a great job with their Business Trip Travel Extension Backpack.

The huge expandable design creates more space for you to add more clothes, essentials, and devices for your journey. This comes for both women and men and has a USB port to recharge your phone on the road. (note that there’s no portable battery included, you need to insert one of your own.)

The comfort is great, thanks to the ergonomic airflow back design with ventilated padding.

Overall, this is a top-grade luxury lightweight backpack for international travel at an affordable price.

Check prices and availability:
Amazon

If you aren’t convinced of the Bange backpack, these alternatives might be what you’re looking for:

What to consider when buying a light travel backpack?

Size

Choosing the right size backpack is the key to your carry-on traveling being a success.

Pick a small backpack so you pack less and have less weight on your back.

Considering the duration of your trip, you can decide which bag is good for you. Here are the major sizes you can choose from:

  • Mini & Small: 6-10L
  • Daypacks: 10-30L
  • Medium Backpacks: 35-50L
  • Large Backpacks: 65 and plus liters
People hiking with backpacks
Backpacks come in all sizes, shapes and colors

Weight

Weight can slow you down which is why you need to manage your luggage in a way that your backpack doesn’t become a burden on you while you’re on the go.

Finding lightweight and compact backpacks can solve your problem as these are made of thin material and can be easily rolled into a small pack and carried along to store extra luggage further during your trip.

Fit

Depending on the model and manufacturer, light travel backpacks are available in multiple sizes.

You can choose from small, medium, and large, or look for backpacks that fit your waist or torso size. Another category to choose your backpack from is gender.

There are men and women-specific backpacks, then there are unisex with a one-size-fits-all design.

Backpacks with smaller capacities and more adjustment options are mostly for young users who are still growing.

A rain cover is the best way to keep your stuff in your backpack dry in the rain.

Features 

Waterproof

Rain and moisture protection is necessary when you are on a trip, especially when you are hiking, scouting, or doing any other outdoor activity.

A rain cover is available in most backpacks these days while the shell is made of water-repellent, water-resistant, or waterproof material.

Always check if there is waterproof lining on the inside.

Some bags even come with waterproof zippers.

Attachment Points

If you are an adventure traveler, find backpacks that have loops to attach trekking poles, helmets, sunglasses, or an ice ax. You can look for the following for greater convenience:

  • Daisy Chain: It’s the webbing outside a pack that has multiple gear loops for tools, a helmet, or anything that didn’t fit inside the bag.
  • Reinforced Crampon Patch: This fabric prevents holes from appearing because of crampon points.
  • Extra Gear Loops: Find a pack with extra gear loops on the lower part of a pack or the hipbelt for greater convenience while hiking.

Internal frame

Buying a bag with an internal frame is crucial for greater stability and safety while traveling.

The support structure is hidden under the back panel and helps maintain stability on uneven surfaces.

Various manufacturers incorporate innovative technologies for better weight distribution and strength of the pack.

Make sure to buy a pack with an internal frame if you’re carrying a lighter load.  

Panel Access

Whether your backpack has a top-loading or side-loading design, it’s entirely up to you how you want to transport your luggage.

Backpacks are convenient as long as they ensure the utmost comfort and safety of your belongings while you are on the go.

Top-loading packs have exterior pockets while the side-loading ones don’t have any.

Side-loading packs offer more convenient access to your belongings. It’s your call at last depending on your travel needs.

Backpack in the overhead luggage bin
Your backpack can be your companion during your hike and on the plane if it meets the hand luggage sizes.

Removal daypack

A removable daypack can be pretty convenient for travelers who want to store small essentials in an easy access pack.

A lot of manufacturers have designed packs with a detachable daypack that is ideal for short trips or supply runs during a thru-hike.

The top lid or reservoir pocket of an overnight pack has a daypack integrated into it with a zipper to remove it from the main pack.

Price

Look for ways to save on your purchase by following the below tips:

  • Get a good idea of what you need so you don’t pay extra for features you don’t need.
  • Compare features and prices on the Amazon website to get a better idea of the actual price and how much you’ll be able to save.
  • Maybe you don’t need the very latest model and you can buy last year’s design which is often cheaper
  • Buy your backpack in the holiday season (Black Friday, Christmas, …) for better bargains.

Conclusion

Finding the right light travel backpack can now be a smooth game with so many options listed for you to choose from.

Our research is based on customer reviews and industry ranking to build an accurate opinion.